The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
August 2006
Flower Urinals
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 09, 2006
Kathy Johnston sent along a link to these pictures of artistic urinals created by urinal sculptor Clark Sorensen. (I would love to be able to tell people at cocktail parties that my job was a 'urinal sculptor'.) Yes, they're real urinals, although I don't know if they're actually installed and being used anywhere. Check out more examples of Sorensen's art at I think a fake fly would be the ideal addition to his urinals.
Categories: Art Comments (6)
Quick Links: Card Trick, etc.
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 08, 2006
Card Trick YouTube video of a well performed card trick. I think it's a version of the "ambitious card" trick, in which one card keeps coming to the top again and again. I don't know how it's done, but I'm guessing it involves double-lifting cards and using a false shuffle to keep certain cards at the top (or bottom). Tom Dundee Condoms Banned in Thailand Thai authorities have banned a line of condoms named Tom Dundee, since Dundee in Thai means "Good Penetration," a phrase that they regard as "ambiguous, boastful and provocative."…
Crackheadz Gone Wild
Posted by Boo on Tue Aug 08, 2006
The Miami New Times have reported on the publicisation of the lives of crack cocaine users through Headliners Productions' range of Crackheadz Gone Wild DVDs. Crackheadz Gone Wild Miami will be the fifth such film. Debatable is the motives behind these films: Producers of the Miami version, who say their aim is to publicize the problem so it can be solved, have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars from the commercial release of the New York volumes. And though the company does not stage any of the on-camera antics nor supply drugs, critics say addicts…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (3)
Quick Links: Square Watermelon, etc.
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 07, 2006
Flora and I have decided on a more efficient way to post links that really don't need (or don't deserve) an entire post of their own. We'll just dump them together in a "quick links" post whenever we accumulate a bunch of them. Should mean more stuff gets posted. Here's the first such set of links: Square Watermelon Soon to be on sale in Britain. Really. "Boxes are placed around the growing fuit which naturally swells to fill the shape." Buy two and get a bonsai kitten free! (Thanks, Lou) Reuters admits altering…
Is the “End of Serenity” Photo Fake?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 07, 2006
I think what follows is an example of the truism that "we are most gullible when we are most skeptical." When United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001, a woman named Val McClatchey, who lived nearby the crash, managed to get a picture of the cloud of smoke from the crash rising above the trees. Her photo, which she subsequently titled 'The End of Serenity,' became quite famous, but now conspiracy theorists are suggesting that it's a fake:
Buy Jake.
Posted by Boo on Mon Aug 07, 2006
Following on from the woman who auctioned the rights to name her baby - leading to a child named Golden Palace Benedetto - and the sudden fads for offering bodies as billboards, comes Traci Hogg has decided that her son is cute enough to be used as a billboard. For a certain fee ($100,000 if you want a year long contract), she will dress him in logoed clothes. As she says herself: "When I'm taking him places, everyone seems to notice him and notice what he's wearing. They always say he wears the cutest outfits, and I thought, someone should be paying me to put their logo on him. He gets so much attention."
Categories: Advertising Comments (15)
Al Gore’s Penguin Army
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 07, 2006
A video posted on YouTube, supposedly created by a 29-year-old guy from California calling himself Toutsmith, showing a caricature of Al Gore boring a group of penguins by lecturing them about global warming, has been revealed to be a creation of lobbying firm DCI Group, one of whose clients is Exxon Mobil Corp. The fraud was exposed, surprisingly, by the Wall Street Journal. It's not clear to me exactly how they did it, since I haven't been able to access their article, but from what I can piece together they sent the creator of the video an email,…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Politics Comments (7)
Buddha Rays
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 07, 2006
In Sri Lanka millions of people have been flocking to temples, and causing massive traffic jams, after the local media reported that images of the Buddha were emitting "miracle rays." I'm not sure what miracles these rays are supposed to have caused (or is it their mere existence that's miraculous), but apparently you need to stare real hard before you're able to see them, and the rays only come out of colored Buddha pictures: A white line could be seen running along the point where Buddha's saffron robes met the lighter shade of the right open shoulder after gazing into the image…
Categories: Religion Comments (0)
Posted by The Curator on Sun Aug 06, 2006
Yesterday Marie Stopes International, a sexual and reproductive health agency, sponsored Europe's first Masturbate-a-thon. (There's been a similar event in America for a number of years.) Participants got people to pledge a certain amount of money for every minute spent masturbating and/or every orgasm achieved. As Marie Stopes admits, it's basically a publicity stunt. But the part I find interesting are the rules which ban fake orgasms. They warn quite bluntly: "NO FAKING ORGASMS! Do not waste our time." They claim to have highly trained monitors who can spot the fakes. But how good could the monitors really be? I note in Hippo Eats Dwarf that neuroanatomist Gert Holstege of the University…
Categories: Sex/Romance Comments (2)
Black Eyed Kids (BEK)
Posted by Boo on Sun Aug 06, 2006
Status: First-person accountsReports of BEK phenomena are becoming increasingly widespread on the net. Stories about these creepy adolescents with entirely black eyes and a threatening manner have been cropping up in first-person reports ever more frequently since 1998, when journalist Brian Bethel first wrote about his experience with BEKs. These accounts follow a regular pattern: Most accounts occur at the individual's home. There is a knock on the door and on the other side, waiting patiently, is a kid of roughly 12 to 17 years of age.…
Categories: Paranormal Comments (78)
Does God Love Rats?
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 05, 2006
I attended an episcopalian high school, which meant that I had to sit through a chapel service every day. Thankfully the services were never fire-and-brimstone stuff. These were Episcopalians, after all. Instead, they were most often like general-interest lectures. But one service in particular has stuck in my mind, during which whoever was giving the service described an unusual experiment involving the relationship between rats and God. I think the experiment might be an interesting addition to my next book, so I'm trying to track down details about it. But so far I've been unsuccessful. So I'm hoping that one of the Museum of Hoaxes readers might know something about it. The experimenters, so it was said,…
Categories: Science Comments (17)
Han van Meegeren Biography
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 05, 2006
The Guardian has a review of a new biography of the notorious art forger Han van Meegeren. The biography, by Frank Wynne, is titled I Was Vermeer: The Legend of the Forger who Swindled the Nazis. Van Meegeren, who was driven to a career in forgery by anger at being ignored by the art establishment, ended up becoming fantastically wealthy from his career in deception, before his downfall: Though he made a fortune from his forgeries, in the end owning some 15 country houses and 52 other properties,…
Categories: Art Comments (1)
Some Announcements
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 04, 2006
Two things to announce. First, I've got a deal to write another book. But it's not another book about hoaxes, so it will be a bit of a new direction for me. It'll be a book about unusual scientific experiments. The kind of experiments that make people say, "Did they really do that?" Experiments such as Stanley Milgram's electric-shock experiments, Ewen Cameron's brainwashing experiments, Louis Jolyon West's "elephant on acid" experiment, as well as some more light-hearted ones. I've known about the deal for a while, but I only received a final contract this week, so I didn't want to jinx it by publicly announcing it prematurely. However, because I'll need to focus on writing the book,…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (31)
Journalist Fakes Bill Gates Interview
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 04, 2006
Status: News Microsoft has accused a Norwegian journalist of fabricating, out of thin air, an interview with Bill Gates. Bjoern Benkow, the journalist in question, claimed that he interviewed Gates while onboard a commercial flight. Gates apparently didn't share any interesting secrets with the guy, only that "rival search engine giant Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) has "been smart," that he never carries more than a "dime" in his pocket and that he occasionally places $1 bets with his wife, Melinda." Still, Microsoft insists the whole thing is bogus. Which makes one wonder how the journalist thought he could get away with this. Maybe he figured that Bill Gates would never…
Categories: Journalism Comments (4)
Hello, A Bomb Is Coming
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 04, 2006
Status: Weird and disturbing practical joke The Israeli army has been phoning homes in Lebanon to warn the people inside that a bomb is about to drop. This is odd, but true. But even odder is that this practice has now inspired Palestinian practical jokers. Hurriyet reports: Palestinians turned the "hello, a bomb is coming" phone calls into a prank joke amongst themselves. The prank has become so popular in recent weeks that the main Palestinian prosecutor's offices have forbidden "hidden" numbers on cell phones, to keep people in Gaza from calling and scaring each other. Reports say that…
Categories: Military, Pranks Comments (1)
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